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Vistry Unveils AI Customer Assistant Chatbot for Food Commerce

San Diego-based startup Vistry has introduced its conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform for food commerce, featuring an AI customer assistant chatbot called LumoChat.

The chatbot aims to assist customers in their online ordering tasks across various channels, such as web and mobile, Vistry said in a Wednesday (Oct. 4) press release.

LumoChat combines conversational and clickable interactions, according to the release. It uses ChatGPT-like technology to act as a virtual concierge, providing personalized customer experiences and boosting online orders.

The chatbot features menu and location understanding capabilities, as well as advanced AI algorithms to create optimized shopping carts for customers, the release said.

It also has checkout features like auto-filled details and secure payment options, according to the release. And it provides support with instant and accurate information on nutritional facts, promotions, catering and special dietary accommodations.

Vistry’s conversational AI platform integrates with modern online ordering platforms and point-of-sale (POS) systems, the release said. It can be accessed through web, mobile and social channels.

The launch of the platform comes as off-premises ordering and customer service become increasingly popular in the restaurant industry.

PYMNTS Intelligence found that nearly half of restaurant customers opt for off-premises dining, and most choose pickup options over delivery. The trend is driven by cost, with 58% of takeout customers saying they pick up restaurant meals to save on delivery fees, according to “Connected Dining: Rising Costs Push Consumers Toward Pickup.” Forty-two percent of restaurant customers said they pick up their meals because not having to tip a delivery person is important to them.

“PYMNTS’ data says incentives could also persuade consumers to change their preferences for how they get their restaurant meals,” PYMNTS found earlier this year.

In another development in the space, restaurant technology platform Olo tapped AI to improve the digital ordering and payments experience. The company uses the technology to help customers collect, analyze and leverage data.

“By training and deploying models using historical order data and retaining the models on an ongoing basis, brands will have more accurate ready-time predictions instead of manual inputs,” Olo CEO Noah Glass said in August.